ACC: Marcus Sims

Kiper: ACC's top 2011 draft picks

March, 18, 2010
3/18/10
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ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. recently released his top five returning players at every position and the ACC is well-represented. Not only is this a sneak peek at the 2011 NFL draft, but it's also a good way to highlight some of the top players to watch in the conference this spring.

It's also a black-and-white reminder of just how high the expectations are for North Carolina's defense. Kiper has three Tar Heels ranked No. 1 at their respective positions and five ranked overall. (Not sure people realized just how much TE Zack Pianalto's injury last year hurt the Heels.) There's no shortage of NFL talent for Butch Davis to work with. It's a different story for Paul Johnson, though, this year.

Here's a look at the players who ranked among Kiper's top five at each position:

  • No. 4 QB Christian Ponder, FSU
  • No. 4 FB Marcus Sims, North Alabama (Former FSU player)
  • No. 3 WR Leonard Hankerson, Miami
  • No. 3 TE Zack Pianalto, UNC
  • No. 1 OT Anthony Castonzo, Boston College -- Here's what Kiper had to say about AC:
Castonzo was No. 3 on this list last week. He should be a focus of this summer and fall, and is one of those athletic types an NFL coach like Mike Shanahan likes to use.

  • No. 1 OG Rodney Hudson, FSU
  • No. 5 OG Orlando Franklin, Miami
  • No. 4 C Ryan McMahon, FSU
  • No. 2 DE Allen Bailey, Miami
  • No. 1 DT Marvin Austin, UNC -- Kiper's take:
Austin is going to be part of an excellent defense next season in Chapel Hill. I was a little surprised he opted to return, given how highly many people regard him, but he avoids being part of an immensely deep class and could do extremely well if he stays healthy.

  • No. 1 ILB Quan Sturdivant, UNC
  • No. 4 ILB Alex Wujciak, Maryland
  • No. 1 OLB Bruce Carter, UNC
  • No. 5 OLB Nate Irving, NC State
  • No. 1 CB Ras-I Dowling, Virginia
  • No. 4 CB Rashad Carmichael, Virginia Tech
  • No. 1 S DeAndre McDaniel, Clemson
  • No. 2 S Deunta Williams, UNC
McDaniel hadn't previously cracked any of my lists, but he's long been on the radar of NFL personnel folks. Next season should be his official coming-out party.

  • No. 5 P Travis Baltz, Maryland

ACC's lunchtime links

July, 16, 2009
7/16/09
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Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

As expected, FSU fullback Marcus Sims has decided to transfer to North Florida State. Er, uh, I mean North Alabama. With all due respect to Sims, this isn't a huge loss for the Noles' offense.

Speaking of North Alabama, it was a family reunion the other day, and Clemson beat writer Paul Strelow caught up with former Clemson coach Tommy Bowden. He's working "nowhere" right now with a lot of money in his pocket. Not a bad gig.

Virginia Tech wide receiver Zach Luckett has gotten a second chance -- this time as a walk-on linebacker. 

Speaking of the Hokies, two charges were dropped against former Virginia Tech tailback Jahre Cheeseman and a third was amended. He's now on probation for a year.

Former Georgia Tech recruit-turned Alabama receiver is now looking at coming back to the ACC because he wants more playing time.

More of the Jackets:

Need a haircut? Ask linebacker Brad Jefferson.

Miami quarterback Jacory Harris has more patience than I do.

And, as reader Pick6Pedro mentioned, BC signed another top-notch quarterback. Let's see if this one sticks around.

FSU fullbacks evaluating futures

June, 18, 2009
6/18/09
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Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

FSU fullbacks Marcus Sims and Seddrick Holloway are both taking some time to evaluate their futures at Florida State, offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher said on Thursday. Holloway was excused for some personal issues, but neither has been suspended or are in any trouble. They're both just evaluating their futures, what their roles are and where they want to be.

"Marcus is evaluating what he wants to do," Fisher said. "He's making some decisions about himself, too. He's just at a time in his career, so we'll wait and see how it goes."

A source said Sims is considering transferring to North Alabama, where Preston Parker landed after being kicked off the team. It makes sense, as they will play for Bobby Bowden's son, Terry Bowden.

Overall, though, Fisher said he's the most excited about this team since he arrived on campus. He said he loves their work ethic, and he's seeing a whole new attitude.

"You see a group that's tied together," he said. "Our attitude is tremendous. It's the best since I've been here. Now we've got 11 bowl teams to play, so I don't know if that equates to a lot better record, but I like our chances and where we're going. We're going to get there very quickly."

Fisher sounded especially excited about tight end Caz Piurowski, who will be more involved in the passing game this year and should be a much bigger factor now that they don't need him to help out the offensive line. He also pointed out players like Tavares Pressley and Ty Jones who will help the team take the next step.

The receivers, he said, have learned from their mistakes and he's noticed a difference in their attitude. Their grades are up, they're making better decisions and they understand the consequences of their actions.

For more on the Noles today, watch College Football Live at 3:30 p.m. ET.

FSU practice update

August, 11, 2008
8/11/08
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Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Just a quick update from Tallahassee:

  • Myron Rolle turned his ankle at practice today but is expected to fully participate on Tuesday.
  • It sounds like Marcus Sims is showing a lot of improvement from a year ago and should be able to help out the running game.
  • All of the quarterbacks -- D'Vontrey Richardson, Christian Ponder and Drew Weatherford -- seem to be having their moments.

Still, Jimbo Fisher is looking for everyone to step it up a notch:

"Today was not an effort day," Fisher said in the team's practice report. "It all started this morning. We got guys coming to the meetings late. They came without a pad and pencils to take notes. Why are you going to come to a meeting to get better and know what to do but you come unprepared. It is like going to class. You go to class without a paper and pencil your going to flunk. If you go to a meeting without a paper and pencil, you're going to flunk. I told them to come with a pad and pencil and to be on time and if they don't, then they are going to pay a consequence. I mean we have a select few but not very many. But you know what, if only some of them do it wrong, the whole team suffers so the whole team runs."

ACC in the morning: More preseason predictions

July, 14, 2008
7/14/08
7:23
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Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

The ACC football kickoff must be getting close (well, that and college baseball is long done in the state of Florida) -- there's more of a buzz in the business today:

J.P. Giglio of the Raleigh News & Observer's ACC Now blog has his preseason predictions up this morning, and for the most part, we're on the same page. He gave the Seminoles a little more credit than I did, and I agree that team could be better than people think. Still, I don't think we'll see how good FSU can really be until the second half of the season. Maryland might be better than people think. Giglio also had NC State ahead of Boston College, which could very well happen, too.

Speaking of rankings ... You guys aren't the only ones who freaked out about Friday's stadium rankings.

Andrew Carter of the Orlando Sentinel, who is an NC State grad, was among the many who were displeased with my spot for the Wolfpack, so he came up with his own ranking in his blog, the Chopping Block. I like his list.

Carter also had a story on the overall health of FSU's athletic department. The biggest challenge new AD Randy Spetman has is to usher the department through the lingering effects of the academic fraud case. In that respect, I'd say Bobby Bowden has it tougher.

Speaking of the 'Noles ... The Tallahassee Democrat wrote about the healing process for fullback Marcus Sims and receiver Richard Goodman. The Democrat also wrote about how FSU offensive line coach Rick Trickett will earn his money this season.

It wasn't exactly Miami-FIU, but it was a brawl nonetheless. If Miami and Florida State are high on any of these recruits, it could be indicative of problems to come. It was bad enough that one of the coaches was taken to the hospital with what appeared to be a dislocated knee. And he wasn't even playing.

Speaking of recruits ... nearly 200 recruits were in Blacksburg, Va., according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. It was the second of two camps this summer for the Hokies.

Rob Daniels of the Greensboro News-Record had this take on ACC expansion. It's all about the Benjamins, and Virginia Tech -- so far -- has been the biggest winner.

Speaking of winners ... why wait until October to break down the Clemson-Wake Forest game? Larry Williams of the Charleston Post and Courier has it now.

Elsewhere in the ACC, the Duke football team is up to more good deeds under David Cutcliffe. You've got to register for this one, sorry.

And, finally, here are eight reasons to be excited about ACC football this season, according to the Charlotte Observer.

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